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Suggestions - pair of potted plants for shade

alfharris8alfharris8 Posts: 366
Does anyone have any suggestions for container plants to go either side of a door please?
Ideally something tall (ish) as I think a bit of height would be nice and for a shady (ish) position. 
Don't mind if it's evergreen or not but not lollipops like bay balls etc. Thank you. 


  • coccinellacoccinella Posts: 590
    Sarcococca if you have a big container. A plant that will put up with a lot of neglect and never fails is Osmanthus but it is slow growing. Both are nicely scented in winter and evergreen. There are also climbing roses who will tolerate shade
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 1,931
    edited 18 March
    Pairs of plants in pots can be problematic as they often don't grow at the same rate or height/spread, which can invite unwanted comments from visitors!  I prefer small groups of three or more plants, extending interest throughout the year. Good performers include evergreen ferns like Polystichum, evergreen grasses or sedges like Stipa tenuissima or Carex, a columnar yew and a mix of annuals like violas or pansies plus trailing plants like small leaved ivies or Swan river daisy (Brachyscome).  Alternatively, if you don't like the idea of combinations, single Phormiums can be attractive when young, if you have the space. They don't mind light shade but you'll need a deep container.  I prefer the white/green variegated ones, not the garish red and pink combinations!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • alfharris8alfharris8 Posts: 366
    Thank you both. I like Sarcococca and hadn't thought of that or Yew so much to research there. 
    Grateful thanks. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,133
    Yew can be ideal, and can be trimmed to keep them the same. The golden one is nicer.
    The amount of room you have is a big factor.
    I've had Ilex  [holly] in a shady site without any problem.  Many are a natural cone shape, and are pretty trouble free.
    Acers if you have enough room.
    The containers would need to be a suitable size, and the growing medium would have to be soil based - not compost. That goes for anything you plant permanently.

    Does it need to be flowering? Rhodos/Azaleas and Camellias are ok if given the right care, and watering, but a shadier site is easier as they don't dry out so readily. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • alfharris8alfharris8 Posts: 366
    @Fairygirl - I would like something to go either side of French doors which feel as though they need something on the tall side to me but have thought several times how sensible @Plantminded words were about growing plants in pairs.
    I thought Holly wouldn't be any good without sunshine but plants often prove you wrong. Love Acers but the wind seems to get them here. Such a shame.
    I think Yew is certainly going to be shortlisted. 
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,093
    You could put an arch between the containers and put a couple of evergreen climbers in to grow over and give some shade.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 1,931
    edited 19 March
    You’ve probably got space for generous sized pots there, without being confined in a doorway.  If so, tall pots can give more impact. There are resin types available which look like stoneware, being light they are easier to move around, until planted up!  Don’t be put off by the possibility of differing growth rates, I’m oversensitive to this! You can minimise this by swapping each planted pot around every few weeks to give them similar exposure to light, rain and wind.  I also rotate some plants in pots to stop them leaning towards the light.  Yew don’t do this by the way!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 6,737
    For a fragrant long-flowering shrub - in a tall pot to provide the height and root space - I’ve grown Daphne Eternal Fragrance perfectly well in shade near a doorway.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,133
    edited 07:46
    It's the amount of room you have which will dictate the planting, regardless of whether it's a single specimen, or a group of plants. Is it a little recess or the whole length of the wall you have available?
    Holly is fine in shade, but it's the size of the containers that matters   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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